Yum Nam Tok เนื้อน้ำตก

Thai Beef Salad

There is just something so addicting about Thai food for me. Even having lived in S.E. Asia for a couple years I never did feel quite “full”. Oh, there were nights when I was in a complete food coma but I never “grew tired” of the food. It’s an amazing culture of food; eating, cooking and talking about where to eat next. Oh my, a food fanatics dream. #Nomnom.

Yum Nam Tok translated means “waterfall salad”. When you put a fresh juicy cut of beef on the grill the sounds of juice hitting the iron or the flames is like a pure splash of delight. And there you have it. In the Western world it is known as a Spicy Thai Beef Salad. This is not to be confused with a very similar dish called Yum Neua Yang. They are both “Yum” which means salad. Yum Neua Yang does not have toasted rice and generally has more, well, salad items in it.

Serve it fresh – as in right away. Don’t let it sit in the juice overnight or in the fridge waiting for the BBQ to happen. Here’s your inventory:

  • 1/2 lb. flank steak
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tsp grated palm sugar
  • The juice of 1 lime
  • 1 sliced green onion
  • 1-2 teaspoons ground dried chili pepper
  • 1 thinly sliced pink shallot
  • 10 sprigs of mint leaves
  • 5 sprigs of Asian basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon toasted rice powder

The Method to My Madness

I use a pound of flank steak and chop them in squares for easier plating down the line. I “lightly” salt and “heavy” pepper it while the meat comes to room temperature. I have about 10 minutes or so to do some other things.

Go ahead and make the Khao Koor (ข้าวคั่ว) 

toasted-rice

If the granules are too big they will hurt your teeth. Make sure to get them really small like the consistency of sand. If that is too hard, simply put them through a sieve so you can separate the small ones. Toasted rice provides an essential nutty flavor for this dish.

Grill the steak for about 3-4 minutes on each side. I like steak to be dark brown / crispy on the outside and medium on the inside. Remove the steak and let is rest on a plate for about 15 minutes. Don’t toss the juices. We’ll use that with our salad dressing.

Now Let’s Prep the Salad

  1. Peel and slice shallot and green onion thinly.
  2. Remove the mint and basil leaves from the stems.
  3. Measure out the lime, fish sauce, palm sugar and then mix well.

This is your dressing. Do not put it all on at once. Taste it. Get comfortable with what you have. Does it need more sour, more sweet, more umami? If it is too sour, add a little bit more fish sauce. This is the quick marinade or dressing so you don’t want it to be overly tart, salty, spicy or sweet. Balance my friends, balance.

Cut the steak into thin slices so that the beef easily absorbs the dressing. Toss the steak with half of the dressing. Taste again. Add more dressing or put it on the side for others to quench their Thai craving. Sprinkle the last of the toasted rice powder over the salad. Sashay, sashay, spin around and present to your guests.

sticky-rice

I alway serve this with Thai-style sticky rice. It’s a hit and works really well at outdoor dinner parties where you can grill and put everything together fresh along with wider strides, faster spins and a bigger sashay. Keep it going.

Yum Nam Tok (Thai Beef Salad)

Yum Nam Tok (Thai Beef Salad)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb. flank steak
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tsp grated palm sugar
  • The juice of 1 lime
  • 1 sliced green onion
  • 1-2 teaspoons ground dried chili pepper
  • 1 thinly sliced pink shallot
  • 10 sprigs of mint leaves
  • 5 sprigs of Asian basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon toasted rice powder

Instructions

  1. Read the method above ^.
http://www.thinkeatdrink.com/yum-nam-tok/

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